St. Bernard of Montjoux
Bernard of Montjoux (Bernard of Menthon) is thought to have been born in Italy around 923. He became a priest and did missionary work in the Alps for forty years. He founded many churches, but is best known for the two hospices for Alpine travelers that he founded. The two mountain passes on which these hospices are located are named Great Bernard and Little Bernard after the saint. Bernard also established group to help protect Alpine travelers from robbers. In time, the men who ran these two hospices became Augustinian canons regular and built a monastery. The dogs, which are specially bred and trained to find lost travelers in the snow, are named after this St. Bernard. Bernard of Montjoux died in 1008 and was canonized in 1681. Pope Pius XI proclaimed him the patron of mountain climbers and Alpinists in 1923; he is also the patron of skiers. His feast day is May 28.